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Special camp for special kids

POSTED: July 3, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Forget all those video games about combat. They don’t shoot back.

Meaning you can’t know what war is like unless you’ve been there and most of us haven’t been within a thousand miles of there.

But after six deployments and having twice been wounded in action, the 1st sergeant of an infantry company I met Sunday at Fort Stewart has been there.

So has the military couple with more than six deployments under their belt who brought four sons to a free football camp held by Georgia Southern.

I’m talking about heroes in the real sense of the word. Just by electing to be part of that 1 percent of our population that still cares enough to put on a military uniform in a time of war, they’re special.

But so are their kids, who live with hardships most children will never face, not least of which is the simple fact their parents, many of whom have been deployed time and time again, may not survive another deployment.

That’s why it was so gratifying to see Georgia Southern step up with the help of sponsors and provide Sunday’s camp. In short, these kids are worth it.

Sure, the turnout was disappointing because GSU had geared up for 100s and only a dozen showed. But it was brutally hot, which probably kept a lot of folks from coming out.

That didn’t stop GSU coaches from giving those who attended their full attention. If anything, they had more one-on-one time to give, and I’d be willing to bet the dozen or so kids who did attend are glad they did.

Hopefully, they’ll all get the chance to do it again next year.

Hopefully, so will their parents.

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